Reno+Sparks Chamber, RSCVA moving into same office building
RENO, Nev. — For years, Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce, noticed a trend.
“As a chamber, we were taking all of the tourism, visitor and convention calls,” Silver told the NNBW last week. “And we were averaging hundreds of calls each month.”
This prompted Silver to approach the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority this year to discuss potentially combining resources and services.
“In June, I approached the current executive team there and said, ‘we don’t really want to take all of these calls when you’re the visitor authority,’” said Silver, who also serves as vice-chair of the RSCVA Board of Directors. “And they were in total agreement.”
Not only that, RSCVA encouraged the chamber to become its neighbor. The region’s marketing and tourism organization was preparing to relocate into a newly constructed building going up behind its current office inside the Reno Town Mall.
“I contacted the owner,” Silver recalled, “and he said, ‘I can give you 2,600 square feet, and I can design it in a way that best suits the needs of the chamber.’”
Silver was sold.
With that, after more than a decade occupying the top floor of the building at the corner of California Avenue and South Virginia Street in Midtown, the Reno+Sparks Chamber is moving south into the new space at 4065 S. Virginia St.
The RSCVA will be a separate tenant in the building with its own lease. Construction is slated to finish by the end of October, and both organizations will settle into the new property Nov. 1.
“I think it’s a great move, a great synergy and marriage with RSCVA,” Silver told the NNBW. “And a great opportunity for tourists and residents to have one place to go that’s convenient when they want to talk about business, conventions, events, visitor opportunities, and materials that can be picked up at the chamber.
“… And, we will be able to conserve our members’ dues by reducing our rent.”
The chamber is entering into an eight-year lease that will enable the nonprofit to save roughly $500,000 in rent over that span, said Silver.
In order to make the move, Silver had to negotiate out of the chamber’s current lease at 449 S. Virginia St.
“I think the landlord of this building understood our plight,” said Silver, noting the nonprofit did not receive CARES Act funding and had to cut one of its four positions due to the COVID crisis. “We’ve worked here every day through the pandemic and continue to do so and don’t have any source of additional funding other than member dues.”
Although the chamber is downsizing its footprint (from 4,500 square feet to 2,600), Silver said the new office space has also allowed the nonprofit to design its meeting rooms with social distancing in mind in the age of COVID.
“We’ll be able to sit more people in for programs and events, maintaining all the specific protocols and safety standards that have been mandated by the governor,” she continued. “We believe getting our members together is important to our mission and we’ll be able to do so maintaining all the safety standards, but in a much more architecturally-designed space to fit more people.”
The chamber’s impending move comes a year after the nonprofit celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019. Currently, the chamber has more than 2,000 members, Silver noted.
“We’re growing,” she said. “Our retention rate has stayed very strong during the pandemic. And I think many businesses are realizing that to support the chamber is to support the vitality and diversification of our economy in the Reno-Sparks community.”
As for the RSCVA’s space in the new building at 4065 S. Virginia St., it spans 15,000 square feet, with rent costing $13,613 per month.
RSCVA spokesman Ben McDonald said the authority’s lease runs through October 2023. Since the building’s landlord, Roter Investments of Nevada, also oversees RSCVA’s current office space, no other lease details are changing with the move.
“I’m extremely excited,” Jennifer Cunningham, executive vice president and interim president and CEO of the RSCVA, told the NNBW last week about the impending move. “I think this will bring the synergy that we need to work even closer together for the benefit of both organizations. There’s definitely crossover with some of the work that we both do.
“And I think we’ll find that there are new areas where we can work together that we might not have even thought about.”
The new branch at 120 Salomon Court in Sparks marks Greater Nevada Credit Union’s 16th in Northern Nevada.